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With six candidates for three spots, council election will be hotly contested

Six Claremonters are running for three open seats on the city council this year.

Michael Ceraso, Zach Courser, Jed Leano, Douglas Lyon, Ed Reece and Jennifer Stark have all qualified for the November 2018 election, according to City Clerk Shelley Desautels.

Mr. Courser, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College and chair of the Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission, is the only candidate who has run for council before. He came in third among a crowded field of eight candidates in 2017, an election that saw the two incumbents, Corey Calaycay and Larry Schroeder, keep their seats.

Mr. Leano is an immigration attorney who is the vice chair of the Claremont Community and Human Services Commission. He also sits on the city’s Tree Committee, the Committee on Human Relations and the Independence Day Committee. 

Mr. Reece is currently the chair of the Claremont Police Commission. He is the CEO of ISN Global, an information technology company based in Claremont. He was the co-chair, along with Betty Crocker, of the pro-Measure SC committee Partners for a Safe Claremont. Measure SC, which would have paid for a new police station through a general obligation bond, failed to garner enough votes to pass in June.

Ms. Stark is a certified yoga instructor at Pomona College who is also on the board of Claremont Heritage and Claremont Canopy. She is also on the Traffic and Transportation Commission.

Mr. Lyon is a familiar face in Claremont politics on a number of issues, from the Gold Line extension to the proposed Village South expansion. He is a member of the Claremont Planning Commission.

Mr. Ceraso is the co-founder of Winning Margins, a community organization group that helps local Democratic candidates. A Pitzer College graduate, his group helped put on a forum on homelessness in May that provided the city’s first look at some of this  year’s council candidates.

No incumbents are running this year. Councilmember Sam Pedroza, who initially was poised to run for re-election, decided not to run in July, citing a tough re-election campaign and his desire to spend more time with his family.

Mayor Opanyi Nasiali and Councilmember Joe Lyons are both retiring at the end of their terms.

The election will take place on Tuesday, November 6. Check out the COURIER throughout the election season for interviews with each council candidate.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com